Tajaran Culture

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The Tajaran have divurged in cultural practices since their freedom from The Slavemasters 30 years ago. But much remains unified.

Traditional Foods

A large portion of the Tajaran menu consists of varying types of soups and stews, made from nearly every combination of edible flora and fauna. Most of the following items do not fall in that category, which makes then notable.

Jun'Darik - Fermented fish steeped in salted wine. While the native fish of Ahdomai have yet to be exported, it has been discovered that this recipe works just fine with the alien race known as "Space Carp."

Kahal'ket Al'Kiha (Mountain Cake) - A simple cake made with Chur'eech Nuts and Berries, and baked with rendered blubber of the Elu'a Eil.

Jurl'Mah Tul'Cresh (Sweet Soup) - A very sweet broth made from fresh fat, meat, and Jurl'Mah.

Azuragh'Mah (Blue Star Or Azure Star) - Cooked Jurl'Mah syrup, moulded into a decorative shape, and studded with Chur'eech Nut flakes.

Rraasi - A popular Tajaran food, named for the one-eyed fish used in its preparation. Lightly spiced with shredded tha'draa and served cold on a heated plate. Popularized by the Inadd clan, this unusually spicy dish has become favorite of many Tajaran worldwide. Rraasi is generally within acceptable norms for the human palette, but due to it's slightly pungent nature it is considered an acquired taste.

El-A'hum - Thin cuts of the Elu'a Eil smoked with the wood and leaves of the Sanu'dra tree. The resulting flavor is not entirely dissimilar to a glazed ham. This meat is typically eaten with a side serving of Sanu'dra bark, and its portability and easy storage makes it a popular trail food.

Arts and Recreation

For a long period of time, the working class Tajaran were almost wholly illiterate. As such, without a proper method of recording their own history, feelings, and anything of the sort, they would often use songs and melodies to relay such ideas and concepts since they lacked the pen and paper to do so normally. Poetry and novels were a thing for the upper class. Amongst those who worked in the stoneworking industry, sculptures created out of ice and such were other ways that they could express themselves.

However, the theater played a key role for both classes of Tajaran. During times of great political or economic turmoil, seats for plays and, as technology progressed, films often sold out relatively quickly. The performances displayed contained humor, drama, or other themes that both classes could understand and find enjoyable, particularly so the working class. Unable to read prominent literary works of their time, plays based off of written scripts conveyed to them these stories in a way that did not require literacy. Often, these acts also contained musical masterpieces and tunes that would be incorporated into the cultural songs the working class favored prior to the revolution.

Because of this widespread illiteracy, written works tended to be considered things crafted specifically for the upper class to enjoy. Multiple priceless literary works were lost in the burnings of books and other written items following the political upheaval that took place during the revolution. Many Tajara resented these works. However, in recent years, it could be said that there has been a small resurgence of literary works (mostly those brought in by the humans and their corporations). However, for most of the Tajara, oral tradition remains the go-to method of passing down their history. There may even be finely-crafted clan tapestries or paintings to assist in recording the happenings of a generation.

Clans and Families

The Tajaran social structure is based loosely on their social structure underneath The Slavemasters.

Hierarchy

Families are large, normally consisting of 5-12 individuals in the immediate family and 20-100 individuals in the extended family. Family names are shared through the paternal side of a family, and it's not uncommon for distant relatives generally share a family name. Many Tajara employed by humans prefer to use their family name second.

Clans were tight alliances of families based primarily on occupation and location, although this definition has grown more nebulous in the modern age with the shift from a unified government to a splinter of factions. Extra-clan relationships are encouraged to foster new inter-clan alliances (and genetic spread), and clan membership for ones' immediate family is maternal. Informally to many, most clans in the modern day are considered 'sub-clans', being under alliance to one of the major factions, as described below. Many clans are directly named after the leading family of the clan, but not all families within the clan will share the same surname. As such: a Tajara with a surname of Hadii likely has a lot of political power on Ahdomai. A member of the Khayyam family, which exists within the Clan Hadii, is also worthy of respect, but will still bow to their Hadii clanmates.

Alliances are the major power structures on Ahdomai, their boundaries set effectively marking out cultural regions. After the revolution, the primary clans that had big names within the winning faction rose to an exceptional level of providence, with many lesser clans gathering behind a primary clan. While ostensibly the major clans only hold a large portion of land, the general power attributed to them comes from their packs of locational alliance-clans that gather under their banner that comprise the major 'nations' of Ahdomai. To continue with the above example, the tajara of family Khayyam would be considered on debatably even(with variation depending on personal family status) in respect on par with a member of family Vad'ya under Clan Vad'ya, which is in alliance under the Hadii. Generally, the leading clan is considered in alliance 'over' while subclans are considered in alliance 'under', with occasional lesser clans even under those, although often the distinction blurs after a few generations, with lesser clans than under the prime being absorbed.

Tajaran Lineage/Clans

For ages, Tajaran ancestry has been matrilineal - In most cases, if a marriage contract hasn't been established to state otherwise, a child's clan/family/ancestry is considered matrilateral. In practice, this tends to make the female tajara's role in politics rather more critical than it is in human politics- From a tajaran standpoint, killing all the women is closer to what killing all the men of a family would be in human society. While a patriarchal bent is still in place, ultimately a tajara's sister's son would be succeeding him, not his own progeny.

Religion

Tajr-kii S'randarr

By the Light of S'randarr, we are Ascended.

Overview

The oldest and most widespread religious sect on Ahdomai, the teachings of Tajr-kii S'randarr (roughly translated as "We who follow S'randarr") pervade almost every aspect of modern Tajaran culture, from sun motifs in paintings to turns of phrase referring to "the Light".

The Tajr-kii hold that S'randarr and Messa are locked in eternal battle over the fate of the dead. When someone dies, the soul travels to Messa's realm, known as The Bounty (the stripmined section of Ahdomai know as Messa's Bounty is said to be a partial physical manifestation of Her realm). The Bounty is said to be a desolate wasteland, where souls are drained of energy to fuel Messa and reduced to dark, mindless husks, before eventually fading into nothingness. The hope is that S'randarr's ever-watchful Eye can locate the soul before it is drained, and can be lifted from the Bounty to be safely stored within S'randarr Himself (the process is known as Ascension).

There, the soul melds with the network of other souls stored there, gaining vast knowledge stretching back to the very beginnings of the Tajaran species. Some souls are even said to act as mouthpieces for S'randarr, their whispers reaching the ears of the devout to lend guidance or consolation.

S'randarr does not imprison them, however. If at any point a soul wishes to leave, they are taken to a place called That Which Comes After, which is said to be a large floating island of light with a door in the center. When the soul steps through the door, it is reincarnated within an unborn child to experience life once more. The child is said to retain certain traits from its soul's previous incarnations, and every incarnation allows the soul itself to grow in power. As such, souls that have been through many reincarnations - so-called "old souls" - are especially valuable to Messa, and therefore S'randarr must be doubly determined to locate these old souls so they cannot fuel Messa's powers.

However, S'randarr's failing is that He is unchanging. While He is vastly stronger than Messa in direct confrontation, Her ability to change and grow allows Her to best Him with indirect methods, such as the aforementioned redirecting the dead to Her realm so She can siphon their power.

Taji-kiar Ajarr

Rough Translation: Those who Ascend

This holiday is practiced at the dawn of the equivalent of spring time on Ahdomai. It has symbolic meaning of souls freed from Messa and The Bounty, symbolized by Winter, returning to life to begin their cycle again. For those who have lost parts of their family during this time, this is a time of public mourning and recognition of those souls, and prayers to S'randarr for their rescue from Messa. It is believed that these focused thoughts help S'randarr find those lost souls, the thoughts of the living guiding His way.

Origins Story

In the beginning, there was Al-Benj'rir. Al-Benj'rir lived in the sea of S'ri, or a sea of pure energy. From this sea He created S'randarr, followed by Messa. S'randarr created his island of S'ranjir, and his lantern to guide the S'ri. This made Messa greedy, and caused her to try to take more of the S'ri for herself, creating a throne of clouds. Al-Benj'rir caught wind of Messa's actions and scattered the rest of the S'ri throughout the universe. From this Ahdomai and the life on it was formed. S'randarr moved S'ranjir to protect Ahdomai' S'ri. Messa now looks to make her throne of clouds a true throne, while S'randarr wishes to let the balence of S'ri guide it's self, and for his sister to let the universe not be controlled, but live.

Tajr-kii Messa

Core Fundamentals of Living

There are two main principles of Tajr-kii Messa, everything is a cycle of death that should not be broken, and embrace change in any form it may come in. The end goal of life is to bring as much to Messa as one can when they die, also referred to as Assimilation. Another core behavior principle is to act in the moment and on impulse.

Core Fundamentals of Belief

Followers believe in many of the same things that those who practice Tajr-kii S'randarr do, but choose to worship Messa rather than S'randarr. Death is more freely accepted to be able to become one with Messa, and assist her in her fight with S'randarr. Anything that can lead to more of that, such as a larger population to be offering souls with, is focused, and will be desired by those who follow Messa. They will wish to grow in knowledge and enrich their soul with that knowledge, so that Messa may have that much more power over S'randarr.

Cycle of Death and Change

Those who follow Messa are highly against cloning, as it does not promote change, prevents the cycle of death, and it clings to old ways. This process may be means also to pull one's soul back from The Bounty, depriving Messa of more energy. Cyborgification would be preferable as it offers a change of shell the soul is in. Medical treatment is still allowed with this, but if it were to cause a major change physically, it should be embraced. As such, the use of prosthetic replacements to limbs and body parts would be rather frowned upon, but not restricted, due to some extent of change involved, but attempt to hold old form. The preferable option would be to leave a limb lost.

Messa Passing Borders

It is widely believed by followers that death is controlled by Messa. When she wishes to feast upon the souls of the living, she will influence the world to bring about death, so that their souls may come to the Bounty for her to feast on. This could come in the form of natural disasters, or influences to those living in the world, cut off from S'randarr's wisdom and assistance. Injuries caused from natural disasters are seen as ways for Messa to "taste" one's soul.

Holidays

There is no official holiday for those who practice Tajr-kii Messa, due to it's widespread discrimination and attempts at exterminating it's followers in local Ahdomai govenrments. There is however, some emphasis on the celebration of the change of seasons, and seasonal cycles. The best time for celebration is the time between the equivalent of fall and winter, to symbolize Messa taking life from Ahdomai, and furthering her power from that.

Notable Clans

There are two types of notable clans, major ruling clans with the majority of all political power on Ahdomai, and minor sub clans that have much less political power, but more cultural influance.

Species on Vorestation
Station Crew
Akula - Angels - Demi-Humans - Demons - Dionae - Humans - Nevrean - Promethean - Rapala - Sergal - Skrell - Tajaran - Teshari - Unathi - Vasilissans - Vox - Vulpkanin - Xenochimera - Xenomorph-Hybrids - Zorren - Alraune